5 Holiday Business Tips

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The Holidays Are Upon Us…

Product-based, service-oriented, and eCommerce businesses alike need to start preparing for the crazy holiday rush ahead. By beginning to implement new plans NOW you can get your business into a great a position for finishing off the year.

As a business owner, you should put yourself in a position where you are prepared for the holiday season. In order to do that efficiently, you must review and analyze any hiccups that occurred last year, including what you weren’t prepared for. Here are a few tips for you to get started on planning for the upcoming holiday season.

1. Meet with your staff.
It’s important to always be on the same page as your coworkers/staff. Find the time to schedule a meeting and ask them what they noticed last year during the holiday season that could be improved upon this year. What were the hiccups? What was it that worked successfully? What failed? Getting their feedback is crucial in making sure that things run more smoothly this year than last.

2. Stay Organized.
Do what you can ahead of time to make sure everything is in order. If you have a brick-and-mortar location, getting organized includes making sure that your location is clean and holiday ready. Depending on your business brand and style, this could mean ordering decorations or pulling them out of storage so your business front looks festive and welcoming.

Order any additional supplies that you may need and determine your business hours as well as your employees schedules. Giving everyone time in advance to know when they are expected to be at work will help ensure your are properly staffed. Having hours posted for your employees gives them more time to make sure their work schedule meshes well with their personal schedule and gives you time to adjust accordingly if something doesn’t work out.

Depending on your type of business, it may be a good idea to hire additional staff for the season if your budget allows for the extra helping hands.

3. Implement Customer Relationship Software (CRM).
Now is the perfect time of the year to implement a customer relationship software (CRM). Not only is this is going to help you easily get a forward view of next year, but increase your business’ ability to juggle the ever-increasing number of tasks, opportunities, communications, and information that would otherwise being jeopardy without the right tools.  CRM is key to helping you manage your business’ complex world without dropping the ball.

Not sure a CRM software is right for your business? Contact us for a FREE 30 Day Trial!

4. Promotional Deals and Sales.
Most of us know that with the holidays, comes sales and promotions. Now is the perfect time to entice your existing customer base with discounted products and services and encourage new, potential customers to try your product at a discounted price. Use this time of the year to your advantage by sending targeted marketing to a preferred customer list.

5. Prepare Your Website.
Now is good of time as any to perform any upgrades that have been overlooked on your website.

Everyday, customers are becoming online customers, so it so important that your website is running smoothly and efficiently. Your website needs to be able to handle all of the sales and traffic, so take the time now to work out any bugs or kinks on your website for a smooth process. Don’t forget to double check and troubleshoot all payment processing!

Update your website with all of the holiday information including special hours and additional policies including shipping, returns and pricing.

Most importantly: Have some holiday spirit! Remember to have a good time and encourage your staff to do the same!

How To: Prep You – and Your Business for the Holidays!

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How To: Prep You – and Your Business for the Holidays!

The holidays are on their way and it’s the perfect time to get you and your business in line and prepped for the season. This time of the year can be hectic, exciting, and a whole lot of crazy. Some businesses experience a drastic rise in labor (retail/e-commerce) while others experience a lull (real estate/mortgage).

Whether you are bracing yourself for the crazy holiday rush, or looking forward to the slow season and participating in the mad holiday shopping – getting your head in the game early will keep you sane during the this crazy time of the year.

Plan NOW for the season ahead.

What did you learn from your business this time last year that you can use as a takeaway to make this one run smoother? Analyze the information to make sure you’re not forgetting anything this holiday season. A few places to start on research from last year are:

  • Changes in Trends – What are some of the biggest changes in what’s trending that have impacted your business or field since last year?
  • Campaigns – What were the marketing campaigns that had the greatest impact on revenue/engagement?
  • Website traffic – What pages on your website got the most traction  this time last year? Any particular blog post topics that got more views, comments, etc?
  • Platforms/Channels – What were your biggest marketing platforms or channels last season – Google, subscription lists, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram?

Decide where to set your focus.

Unfortunately, you just cannot do everything or be everywhere. If your business is prepping for some of the holiday madness, set your focus on specific channels and make them your highest priority. Put the rest aside for when you have ‘down-time’ or delegate them to an assistant. Take time to do your research in your field to see what worked – and what didn’t – for other people in your profession.

Make sure your team is aware of the your brand/business’ priorities.

Do more with less time – save the headache.

Prep and pre-schedule all the work that you can. Then, you’ll have more time to during the holidays to do the things you love – like spending time with friends and family or finally taking that well deserved vacation time.

Now is the perfect time of the year to implement a customer relationship software (CRM).

Not only is this is going to help you easily get a forward view of next year, but increase your business’ ability to juggle the ever-increasing number of tasks, opportunities, communications, and information that would otherwise being jeopardy without the right tools.  CRM is key to helping you manage your business’ complex world without dropping the ball.

Don’t forget to relax.

It can be easy to lose yourself and your overall sanity during this time of the year. Don’t forget to set aside some “me time” and really allow yourself to relax and breathe. A car wont’ run without gas – and neither can you! Set aside time in your schedule to do things that rejuvenate you, so you can continue to be successful and watch your business flourish!